Melbourne has entered a snap- lockdown for the sixth time amid three new cases of community transmission
Melbourne entered lockdown number six as authorities continue to scramble to contact trace three new cases of community transmission.
Authorities are considering a three-day snap lockdown to throw a ring around Victoria’s latest Covid outbreak.
Victorian Health Minister Martin Foley says he expects more than 10,000 primary close contacts linked to new outbreak.
The government and health authorities are locked in discussions about whether a lockdown is required in Melbourne.
This comes less than two weeks since Melbourne’s last lockdown came to an end
There are seven people with Covid-19 in Victorian hospitals. This includes two people in intensive care, who are both on ventilators.
Victorian Covid-19 response commander Jeroen Weimar says authorities have identified two more cases linked to a Hobsons Bay couple in Melbourne’s west.
This brings the state’s daily total to seven cases.
Al-Taqwa College cluster
Health officials are concerned that a teacher at Al-Taqwa College may have infected several people in the community.
The teacher, a woman in her 20s, lives in the Hobsons Bay local government area.
Authorities believe was was infectious in the community for three days last week.
One of her household contacts has also tested positive.
U.S. stocks plunge – markets have biggest daily drop in 2 years
U.S. markets have had their biggest daily drop in almost two years, as investors evaluate the impacts of higher prices on earnings and the possibility of monetary policy tightening
The S&P 500 dropped by 4 per cent, while the Nasdaq fell the most amongst other major benchmarks.
Meanwhile, retailer Target down was down more than 20 points in its worst performance since 1987, and Apple and Amazon.com both slid.
The U.S. dollar rose against all Group-of-10 counterparts, except the yen and Swiss franc.
The S&P is slowly emerging from its longest slump since 2011, but rebounds are fragile amid tightening policy, the war in Ukraine and lockdowns in China.
It comes as Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell warns U.S. central bank will raise interest rates until there is “clear and convincing” evidence inflation is in retreat.
Looking to other parts of the world, and Europe saw new-vehicle sales shrink for a 10th month in a row.
Over in the United Kingdom, inflation rose to its highest level since Margaret Thatcher’s reign 40 years ago.
NATO ties – Sweden receives full backing from U.S.
Just days after announcing its intentions to join NATO, Sweden has received full backing from the United States.
U.S. Defence Secretary Llyod Austin welcomed his Swedish counterpart to the Pentagon, in a show of solidarity between the two nations.
Austin says the United States says Sweden’s membership to the alliance will make all member nations safer and more secure.
Both Finland and Sweden formally applied to join the strategic alliance on Wednesday, but still face objections from Turkey.
The whole membership process is expected to take just a few weeks, but ratification by all allied parliaments could take up to a year.
It signifies one of the most significant shake-ups of European security architecture not seen since the Cold War.
The two nations remained neutral throughout this period in history, despite Finland sharing a 1,300 kilometre border with Russia.
Sweden says Russian propaganda can no longer hide the nation’s war crimes… and believes now more than ever, democracies must stand together against Moscow’s increasing aggression.
NATO Secretary-General Jen Stoltenberg says this is an historic moment which must be seized, warmly requesting the requests from both meetings at the alliance headquarters.
Both Sweden and Finland handed over their application letters, each envelope embossed with their national flag.
Zelensky extends Ukraine’s martial law by 90 days
With the war in Ukraine showing little to no signs of slowing down anytime soon, Volodymyr Zelensky has moved to extend his nation’s martial law by 90 days
The required documents have now been sent to the Ukrainian parliament for consideration, requiring approval by at least half of all lawmakers.
The first round of martial law was initiated on February 24, the day Putin declared war over the country.
This marks the beginning of a new stage of the conflict, with Ukraine’s defence minister hoping to arm one million fighters – as the nation prepares for the long haul.
So what does a martial law ruling actually mean for Ukrainians?
Well, it gives those in positions of military leadership more power to intervene in the lives of civilians, introducing curfews, conducting searches of private property without notice and even banning travel.
Residents also lose a number of fundamental rights including the right to receive education, the right to work and freedom of movement.
Men aged between 18 and 60 have also been banned from leaving the country.
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